Plastic Logic offers a glimpse into what computers may look like in the future – a tablet that looks and feels like a sheet of paper.
The flexible tablet PC prototype has been developed in partnership with Intel and Queen’s University. Plastic Logic is calling it the PaperTab tablet and is so-called because of its high-resolution 10.7-inch plastic display (which also doubles as a touchscreen). Instead of using several apps or windows on a single display, users have ten or more interactive displays or “PaperTabs”: one per app in use.
For example, PaperTab’s intuitive interface allows a user to send a photo simply by tapping one PaperTab showing a draft email with another PaperTab showing the photo. The photo is then automatically attached to the draft email. The email is sent either by placing the PaperTab in an out tray, or by bending the top corner of the display.
PaperTab can file and display thousands of paper documents, replacing the need for a computer monitor and stacks of papers or printouts. Unlike traditional tablets, PaperTabs keep track of their location relative to each other, and the user, providing a seamless experience across all apps, as if they were physical computer windows. For example, when a PaperTab is placed outside of reaching distance it reverts to a thumbnail overview of a document, just like icons on a computer desktop.
When picked up or touched a PaperTab switches back to a full screen page view, just like opening a window on a computer.
Under the hood, the PaperTab is powered by a second generation Intel Core i5 Processor.
But the technology is still in its infancy. However, it is hoped that, a streamlined and sensible method of use will emerge to make these futuristic, flexible tablets just as simple to use as the bigger, heavier ones we carry around now.
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